See Original Post by Hippo Whistler here
Note: There is no association between Hippo Whistler and BFF. Published for Public Interest.
For Immediate Release 7th June 2016
Born Free calls on Zambia to abandon hippo cull
2,000 hippos to be culled over the next five years
International wildlife charity, Born Free Foundation, has condemned Zambia’s plan to kill 400 hippopotamuses a year over the next five years in the Luangwa River Valley, an area world-famous as a wildlife stronghold.
According to reports, the cull (which has already started) was sanctioned by the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) as a ‘wildlife management tool’ to prevent the future spread of anthrax among wild animals along a 250km stretch of riverine forest between Chikwa in North Luangwa and Lusangazi in South Luangwa.
However, in what some are speculating as a measure to keep the proposed slaughter under wraps for as long as possible, local stakeholders were only informed about the cull four days before it started. They were also advised that the killing would be opened up to non-Zambian trophy hunters, raising questions about the legality of the hunt and its motivations.
A five-year hunting contract has been reportedly awarded to Mabwe Safaris, and is being marketed by a South African hunting company called De Marillac Safaris (www.demarillacsafaris.co.za)
Born Free President and Co-Founder, Will Travers OBE, stated: “There are many questions about this abhorrent activity, questions that simply must be answered: Is it a cull or is it ‘trophy hunting’? What is the scientific rationale for killing up to 2,000 hippo (there are perhaps as few as 80,000 hippo in all of Southern Africa)? Is culling an effective way of addressing the possible spread of anthrax? Where will the money from the cull really end up? Is there truly an over-population issue with hippo in the Luangwa area?
He continued: “At a time when wildlife populations of multiple species are under extreme pressure across much of Africa, many, including Born Free and our supporters around the world, fundamentally question the logic of killing thousands of hippo, and turning the flood plains of the Luangwa River Valley into ‘killing fields’. I am sure the hippo cull, along with Zambia’s decision to re-instate trophy hunting of lions, will cause many to question whether Zambia is the right wildlife safari destination for them. I urge the authorities to call a halt to the killing with immediate effect.”
The hippopotamus is listed as Vulnerable on the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List with recent population estimates suggesting that, over the past 10 years, there has been a 7%-20% decline in hippo populations.
The Born Free Foundation will be closely monitoring events in Zambia and will be regularly updating its website www.bornfree.org.uk as this horrific story unfolds.
FOR ALL PRESS ENQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT BORN FREE'S PR DEPARTMENT:
Shirley Galligan, PR Director T: 0207 792 9668 M: 07773 848352
Beth Brooks, Press Officer T: 01403 246903 M: 07544 209256
Victoria Lockwood, PR Officer T: 01403 240170 M: 07814 284756
Notes to Editors:
About Born Free
The Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity, devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare. Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase-out zoos. We rescue animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care.
Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles and many more species in their natural habitat, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict. Our high-profile campaigns change public attitudes, persuade decision-makers and get results. Every year, Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide. For more information about Born Free please visit: www.bornfree.org.uk